Former Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze recently compared the importance of blockchain technology in the fourth industrial revolution to the steam engine during the first industrial revolution.
“The first industrial revolution was powered by the steam engine, and the fourth industrial revolution will be powered by blockchain. That's really a game changer. "
Bakhtadze, who resigned as prime minister in 2019 after serving for a year, spoke during an interview with Cointelegraph's Rachel Wolfson. It revealed that Georgia is working with Cardano's Charles Hoskinson through IOHK to implement a special blockchain-based education program in the country.
“Currently, we are implementing a very important project in the education sector together with IOHK and Charles Hoskinson, who is a very good friend of Russia. Together with the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Education, we are implementing the credential verification project. The team is using a Cardano-backed blockchain for this. "
Georgia is a small Eurasian country bordering Russia to the north, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia to the south and is often referred to as the crossroads where Western Europe meets Asia.
The country became the world's first national government to incorporate blockchain technology into public services, in partnership with bitcoin mining hardware manufacturer Bitfury.
“Our justice ministry implemented the Bitfury blockchain to record and verify property transactions. This was the first time, not only in Georgia, but for any state, that it implements blockchain in the utility sector. "
Georgia as a blockchain-powered regional hub for business, tourism and finance
Bakhtadze's speech during the 2020 World Economic Forum virtual summit in Davos highlighted the unlimited potential that blockchain technology presents, especially in the public sector.
The overall vision, according to Bakhtadze, is to establish Georgia as a regional hub for business, commerce, tourism and finance through innovation in partnership with key stakeholders.
Georgia's support for digital currencies peaked in 2018 when cheap electricity, tax breaks, and cryptocurrency regulation made the country a hot spot for local and foreign bitcoin mining investors.
The boom began to fade after the introduction of a tax bill in June 2019, as well as the ban on cryptocurrencies as a method of payment for goods and services.
However, Georgia is still looking to implement blockchain in its vision by fostering talent and skills with the establishment of educational centers in partnership with Cardano.
The country, which has a population of about 4 million, is also heavily dependent on tourism, attracting up to 9 million tourists in a year.
In addition to plans to develop a national digital currency, the country will also explore blockchain solutions to attract visitors, especially after the coronavirus period.
"The countries that will be most in favor of digital currencies and cryptocurrencies will have a very important competitive advantage in the 21st century. Georgia cannot afford to miss out on this opportunity."